Following are the five “charges of acts of misbehaviour” in the impeachment motion submitted by the opposition parties to Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu against Chief Justice Dipak Misra on Friday:
The first charge relates to the conspiracy to pay illegal gratification by persons in relation to the Prasad Education Trust case and the manner in which the case was dealt with by the Chief Justice. It is on record that the CBI has registered an FIR.
There are several recorded conversations between middlemen including a retired judge of the Orissa High Court excerpts of transcripts of which are set out in the articles of charge. References to the Chief Justice by innuendo in these conversations are evident.
The denial of permissions to the CBI to register an FIR against the Justice Narayan Shukla of the Allahabad High Court, when the CBI shared incriminating information with the Chief Justice was itself an act of misbehaviour. All this requires a thorough investigation..
The second charge relates to the Chief Justice having dealt on the administrative as well as on the judicial side with a writ petition which sought an investigation into the matter of Prasad Education Trust, in which he too was likely to fall within the scope of investigation.
The practice in the Supreme Court is that when the Chief Justice is in a Constitution Bench, and matters are to be listed, requests for listing are made before the first puisne Judge.
This is an age old practice. On November 9, 2017, when a writ petition was mentioned before Justice J. Chelameswar at 10.30 a.m. since the Chief Justice was sitting in a Constitution Bench, the same was directed to be listed later the same day.
When the matter was taken up, a note dated November 6, 2017 was placed before the judges hearing the matter by an official of the Registry.
This is the basis of the third charge alleging that the note of November 6 brought to the attention of Justice Chelameswar on November 9 as the matter was taken up was antedated.
The charge of antedating is by all accounts a very serious charge.
The fourth Charge relates the Chief Justice having acquired land when he was an advocate by giving an affidavit which was found to be false. Further despite the orders of the ADM, cancelling the allotment in 1985, the Chief Justice surrendered the land only in 2012 after he was elevated to the Supreme Court.
The fifth charge relates to the abuse of exercise of power by the Chief Justice in choosing to send sensitive matters to particular benches by misusing his authority as Master of the Roster with the likely intent to influence the outcome.